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NMSU Theatre Arts and the ASTC present 'Pixie' by Matt Casarino

EDITORS/PHOTOGRAPHERS: A photo shoot opportunity for Matt Casarino's "Pixie" will take place at 4 p.m. today, Feb. 10, in the Hershel Zohn Theatre at New Mexico State University.


The American Southwest Theatre Company at New Mexico State University Theatre Arts will present the world premiere of their new play, "Pixie," from Feb. 20 to March 8 at the Hershel Zohn Theatre on the NMSU campus. "Pixie" is the third production of the 2008-2009 ASTC/NMSU Season.

"'Pixie' is a great example of AST's mission to discover important voices in the theater that our audiences can experience for the first time. William Shakespeare and Neil Simon don't need our support as much as playwrights who could be the next William Shakespeare or Neil Simon do," said Tom Smith, director and ASTC member.

Matt Casarino's "Pixie" tells the story of Terrence, who has accidentally killed Pixie, an extraordinarily small dog. The accident starts a series of events that reveal, one by one, Terrence's deepest secrets and fears, unraveling his life before his own eyes. When Pixie actually begins speaking to him, Terrence feels his sanity unraveling as well.

The production is part of the High Desert Play Development program which helps living playwrights develop new works. The program solicits scripts from emerging playwrights of national renown. Matt Casarino's "Pixie" was selected to receive a week-long workshop culminating with public readings in the fall of 2008. After receiving feedback from ASTC at NMSU Theatre Arts' audiences, "Pixie" was selected to fill the High Desert slot this spring.

"'Pixie' is an example of an ensemble-driven piece about issues that affect us today– the media moving away from neutrality towards vilification and how the stress of living a structured life can lead to the desire to break free of it. The ideas of this piece are important and immediate and very relevant," Smith said.

Matt Casarino is the author of numerous short and full-length plays, many of which have been published by Playscripts Inc. Director Tom Smith, who also is designing sound for the production, leads an experienced production team, including NMSU Theatre Arts faculty members Jim Billings, David Hereford, and Mike Wise. NMSU Theatre Arts students also play important roles on the production team, with Amy Archibeque and McKenzie Tharrington rounding out the production staff. The cast includes NMSU Theatre Arts students Matt Jones, Erin McClure, Ben Adams, Josh Tafoya, Sean Dolan, Mandy Guitar, Krysta Snowden and Elyse Francis.

"Pixie" will run Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. from Feb. 20 to March 8, with a Thursday preview performance at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 and a Thursday performance March 5 at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and NMSU faculty and staff, and $10 for students. For more information call the ASTC box office at (575) 646-4515 or 1(800) 646-ASTC.